Luna’s Life… A Dog and A Trainer 3/19/17
Welcome back for another week and another blog 🙂 This week we made huge progress but the really thing I want to get across is just how much we did this week. This is usually the point in the game where clients start petering out… They get busy with work, kids, school or just plain life… And folks we are barely two weeks into the this voyage!
With any puppy or fearful dog like Luna it will be a marathon not a sprint, months and years of work not days or weeks… So with that friendly reminder lets look at the week that was.
Well this was the first week with no accidents!!! With the use of timers on Phones, 3 baby gates and lots and lots of monitoring I feel like both my human family and Luna are on the same page 😛 But if we slack or let things go for just an instant, we could easily lose all this hard work! It takes at least 30 days of mistake free-living to be able to say we have new and correct potty habits.
Well the first one was unexpected… While we were walking (more on that later) Luna and I experienced the Ice Cream Truck! Loud music, Loud colors and way to close for her comfort… I moved us to the nearest driveway and all the way up by the doors to add as much distance from the scary thing, and we just sat on the concrete and tried to do some treats but she was way to freaked out… We let the van drive by and allowed about 3-5 minutes for her to rebound and start taking treats.
We then continued our walk! She by no means socialized to the Ice Cream Truck but did learn that it would not get her and that I was here to protect her…. The key is I moved us away from the scary thing and was with her, no
t pushing here into a scary situation and trying to force her to deal with the situation. Dogs have to work on their pace not ours! We simply help them make the situations as positive as we can and at a distance they can at least somewhat handle….
As I mentioned before we are scheduled to begin a dog training class on April 19th but knowing Luna is a fearful pup I am taking time to condition classes as fun!!! What does that mean? Well this week Luna attended 3 (yes I said 3) different group classes to just audit or observe them… The first one (the last blog with the pic of her hiding under a chair) was just a starting point. This weeks work had her out in the open sitting and just watching the experiences of the other dogs in class.
This might be easier for me as a trainer; thank you to my fellow trainer friends for allowing us to attend their classes and also to my son for sitting with Luna during my classes… Keep in mind we did nothing training wise at all just sat there, ate treats and learned classes are not that scary! I plan on starting the same process with crowds of people this week!!!! End result starting off slow and being frequent and consistent with both progress and work!!!!
PS calling various trainers and asking to audit their class is simple to do and many of us allow it if we have space in class! Or just sitting outside a dog park on a blanket at a safe distance can help achieve the same results.
Well the extra visits to the vet paid off. Luna had her first official visit to the vet!!! And while she did start off by hiding under the chairs in the waiting room. She did rebound to start eating treats, she even took treats from several people who came in and out of the waiting room!
I did show up 30 minutes early knowing there would have to be time for the rebound! But once we got into the examination room she calmed right down and appeared to calm down. I say appeared to calm because even though she looked relaxed she was sweating from her paw pads (the only place on a dog with sweat glands and a sign of stress) (I actually got a pic of it here to show you what it looks like!!!) Point is, stress is not always outward and yes even a dog who looks calm can still be stressed… But this visit was still a huge improvement, and simply a reminder that you eat the elephant one bite at a time and that it takes a long time to finish!
Luna and I also started working on Leash Skills this week, we went on 3 regular 4 foot leash walks and even went on a long line walk (15 foot long leash) We worked on not pulling, I simple stop and wait for a sit at every pull, but for the most part just letting her get used to the world… That being said there are lots of teats during the walks and I always ask for a sit and she has to come back to me to get the treat. So, really just treating her is teaching her to staying close 😆
Moral of the story I am really using the leash work to teach the world is not all that scary but while we are out, we are touching some leash skills but those skills are still secondary to working on social skills! She is really at this point a pretty good walker and I am just making sure to reward the snot out of those good behaviors while working on socialization…
PS there was a 4th walk where she and a friend went together on long lines for no other reason than to just have fun!!
This upcoming week will be more of the same but we will focus on people (not actually meeting them but simply being in their presence) I see lots of coffee shop visits and park benches in our future 😀 We will also get our checklist and see exactly what we can check off and what is left to help with Luna’s road map to success!!!!
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